The Good Son (album)

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The Good Son
Studio album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Released April 17, 1990
Recorded by Victor Van Vugt at Sao Paulo, October 1989, mixed by Flood, Gareth Jones at Berlin, November-December, 1989
Genre Alternative rock
Length 45:12
Label Mute Records
Producer The Bad Seeds
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds chronology
Tender Prey
(1988)
The Good Son
(1990)
Henry's Dream
(1992)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Entertainment Weekly B[2]
Q 3/5 stars[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3.5/5 stars[4]

The Good Son is the sixth album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, released in 1990 (see 1990 in music). It was preceded by the release of "The Ship Song" single. A different version of "The Weeping Song" was later also released as a single. After an album as dark and intense as Tender Prey, some fans were disappointed to hear a relaxed and loving Nick Cave on this record. The change of mood was due in great deal to Nick Cave falling in love with Brazilian journalist Viviane Carneiro, and an apparently salutary spell in rehab which purged the despair and squalor of the previous two albums. However, today, most fans consider this album as a classic that was unfairly judged at the time. Indeed, "The Weeping Song" and "The Ship Song" are now Bad Seeds standards, and the relatively obscure closing track "Lucy" was resurrected in 1993 as a B-side of "What a Wonderful World", a collaboration of the Bad Seeds and the Pogues' Shane MacGowan.

Cave later said, "I guess The Good Son is some kind of reflection of the way I felt early on in Brazil. I was quite happy there. I was in love and the first year or two was good. The problem I found was... in order to survive you have to adopt their attitudes towards everything, which are kind of blinkered."[5]

The album was remastered and reissued on March 29, 2010 as a collector's edition CD/DVD set.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Cave unless otherwise stated.

  1. "Foi Na Cruz" – 5:39
    • Singers - Clovis Trindade, Rubinho
  2. "The Good Son" – 6:01
  3. "Sorrow's Child" – 4:36
  4. "The Weeping Song" – 4:21
    • "Father" Vocal by Blixa Bargeld
  5. "The Ship Song" – 5:14
  6. "The Hammer Song" – 4:16
    • Guitars by Mick Harvey
  7. "Lament" – 4:51
  8. "The Witness Song" – 5:57
  9. "Lucy" – 4:17 (words: Cave. Music: Cave, Bargeld, Roland Wolf)
    • Piano on reprise section by Roland Wolf

The songs[edit]

"Foi Na Cruz" is based partly upon the traditional Brazilian Protestant hymn of the same title. The title translates roughly as "It Happened on the cross".

"The Good Son" - the opening is based loosely upon the African-American traditional song "Another Man Done Gone". A recording of this traditional song, by Odetta, later appeared on Original Seeds Vol. 1. The lyrics appear, at least in part, to have been influenced by the Cormac McCarthy novel Child of God, with references to a "malign star" and laying down "queer plans" appearing in both, as well as common themes of dislocation and rejection.

The single mix of "The Weeping Song" is a different mix than the one found on the album.

"The Witness Song" is based loosely upon the traditional American gospel song "Who Will be a Witness?".

Four of the songs on the album were left with their working titles ("The Ship Song", "The Weeping Song", "The Hammer Song", "The Witness Song").

The instrumental b-side "Cocks 'n' Asses" was retitled "The B-side Song" for the USA release.

Singles[edit]

  • "The Ship Song" (MUTE 108) (March 12, 1990)
    • b/w: "The Train Song"
  • "The Weeping Song" (MUTE 118) (September 17, 1990)

Personnel[edit]

Bad Seeds[edit]

String Section[edit]

  • Arranged by Mick Harvey and Bill McGee
  • Violins - Alexandre Ramirez, Altamir Tea Bueno Salinas, Helena Akiku Imasoto, Lea Kalil Sadi
  • Violas - Akira Terazaki, Glauco Masahiru Imasoto
  • Cellos - Braulio Marques Lima, Cristina Manescu

References[edit]

  1. ^ Raggett, Ned. "The Good Son - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds". Allmusic. Retrieved January 24, 2011. 
  2. ^ Sandow, Greg (May 4, 1990). "The Good Son Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on February 26, 2013.
  3. ^ "Nick Cave / Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - The Good Son CD Album". CD Universe. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  4. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (2004). "Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (Completely revised and updated 4th ed.). New York: Fireside. p. 151. 
  5. ^ Dwyer, Michael (July 1998). "Album by Album with Nick Cave". Rolling Stone Australia (Sydney, NSW: Tilmond Pty Ltd) (550): page 41.